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Judgment delivery expectations

Reserved judgments

All judges aim to deliver decisions as promptly as possible. The judges of the High Court expect that 90% of decisions will be delivered within three (3) months of the last day of hearing or receipt of the last submission. This period does not include court vacations. On occasion a judge may advise the parties at the hearing that the judgment will take longer than three months to deliver due to the complexity of the case or other pressing matters of court business.

Recent performance:  High Court judgment delivery statistics for the 12 months ending 31 December 2016[1] 

The table below shows the percentage of judgments delivered in the High Court for the 12 months ending 31 December 2016



1 Month or less        

3 Months or less        

Total judgments delivered   












Inquiry about the status of reserved judgments

Where a litigant or a lawyer is concerned about a delay in the delivery of a reserved judgment in a case in which they have an interest, they may make an inquiry to the court manager of the court where the matter was heard.

The following details should be included in the inquiry

1.         the name of the proceedings and the case number

2.         the inquirer’s role in the proceedings (eg plaintiff/defendant; legal representative for the first plaintiff/second defendant)

3.         the date on which the judge reserved judgment.

The court manager will make an inquiry as to the likely delivery time and respond to the inquiry in writing. The court manager will ordinarily be able to advise the inquirer when the judge believes the reserved judgment will be able to be released. The court manager will also advise other parties to the proceedings of any expected date of delivery.

The inquirer’s identity will not be revealed to the judge. 

Report on delayed judgments

The Chief High Court Judge will periodically publish information about the number of judgments considered to be outstanding beyond a reasonable time for delivery in accordance with section 170(1)(b) of the Senior Courts Act 2016. 

Previous judgment delivery statistics



[1]           Notes and definitions

  • The source of the above data is the court’s citation database
  • A judgment is classified as a decision that receives a citation from citation database. It excludes: minutes, undefended summary judgments, judgments on undefended insolvency applications, judgments by default etc.
  • Judgments that are delivered within one month include judgments made on the papers.